Heavenly [NOOK Book]


I met someone who changed everything. Matthias. My autistic sister's guardian angel. Honest. Inspiring. Funny. Hot. And immortal. That was the problem. What could I do? I did what any other girl would do-I fell in love with him. Zoe's sister darts in front of cars. Her brother's a pothead. Her parents are so overwhelmed; they don't see Zoe lost in her broken life. Zoe escapes the only way she knows how: partying. Matthias, a guardian sent from Heaven, watches over Zoe's autistic sister. After Zoe is convinced ...
See more details below

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
BN.com price


I met someone who changed everything. Matthias. My autistic sister's guardian angel. Honest. Inspiring. Funny. Hot. And immortal. That was the problem. What could I do? I did what any other girl would do-I fell in love with him. Zoe's sister darts in front of cars. Her brother's a pothead. Her parents are so overwhelmed; they don't see Zoe lost in her broken life. Zoe escapes the only way she knows how: partying. Matthias, a guardian sent from Heaven, watches over Zoe's autistic sister. After Zoe is convinced he's legit, angel and lost girl come together in a love that changes destiny. But Heaven on Earth can't last forever.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940011837548
  • Publisher: Grove Creek Publishing
  • Publication date: 8/15/2011
  • Series: Heavenly, #1
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 275
  • Sales rank: 664,649
  • File size: 346 KB

Meet the Author

I've written since junior high school. An only child, I grew up writing big stories about big families. I also write YA under the name of JM Warwick. My hometown of Palos Verdes, California figures in much of my work, as does my current home of Pleasant Grove, Utah and other favorite places. I love to travel.

They say "write what you know" and I do. I am a mother, I have six children, five cats and a huge doberman/dane dog. I have a supportive husband and we've been married 25 years. Our lives, though challenging with a handicapped child who has autism, are centered in our family.

My life experiences have worked into all of my novels. Some more heavily than others, but parts of me are in each story. I love stories rich in family drama, where family members overcome obstacles through love and miracles.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 55 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 55 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Heavenly, simply cannot put down

    Heavenly was a very good book to read. Jennifer Laurens sent me the book as a birthday gift for me and signed it. At the time I didn't really have an interest in it but once I started reading it I just simply could NOT put it down. I finished it in less then 4days after getting it and I fell in love with it. Even though the whole theme of it may seem rather...unrealistic, it was still a great book to read!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 8, 2010

    Love story to end all love stories

    HEAVENLY, by Jennifer Laurens, is a story about addiction and a love that can conquer it. Laurens created a family that was held together by a very thin thread. Zoe's sister, Abria, was autistic and a constant threat to herself, her brother, Luke, was a druggie, and Zoe battled her inner demons with heavy partying. All of these elements weighed down on this family, but Zoe's discovery of Matthias, Abria's guardian, changed their lives.

    This story was a brutally honest portrayal of a family in shambles. I really appreciated the straight-forwardness of the more unhealthy situations that Zoe and Luke got themselves into. And I liked how Laurens did not sugar-coat the way that Zoe felt about Abria and her condition. This book was so real that it brought strong emotions out of me while reading. I felt sadness and hate while Zoe partied and put herself in harm's way. And the next moment I felt exhilarated by the connection between Zoe and Matthias. I enjoyed the way that Laurens captivated me throughout the book.

    I think the overall theme this book encompassed was addiction. Zoe started off with an addiction to boys and alcohol, but eventually became addicted to Matthias. The very thought of him made her euphoric and she wanted to be a better person for him. At her turning point, she had to deal with her parents addiction to Abria and neglect of everything else. She also had to cope with Luke's addiction to drugs and her best friend's addiction to her boyfriend, or boys in general. This change in Zoe created better situations for the family and opened her eyes to a new world around her.

    The relationship between Zoe and Matthias was an epic love story. Matthias' revealing himself to Zoe started a chain of events that changed Zoe for the good, but at what cost? I will not ruin the ending but I was completely caught off guard, in a good way. There were some questions left unanswered that I hope to see answered in the sequel, Penitence

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 19, 2010


    I am in love with this book. There is no other way to say it. Heavenly by Jennifer Laurens has been on my radar for quite a while now and whilst I'd owned the book for some time, I do have a very large TBR pile and had not read it yet. I seem to be saying this a lot lately! Anyway, I picked it up and started reading one night and absolutely loved the story.

    Heavenly is told through the eyes of 17-year-old Zoe who lives at home with her parents, younger brother and little sister Abria who is autistic and as such she demands a lot of care and attention from her parents. This leaves Zoe and her brother Luke feeling rather neglected. Their parents are so tired and weighed down with responsibility that they are completely oblivious to Zoe's escapism into alcohol and partying and Luke's drug dependency. One day, Zoe meets her autistic little sister's guardian angel Matthias and their relationship changes everything. But how long can heaven on earth last?

    I like to read late at night and Heavenly kept me up for a few nights until 3am (it's a good job I was on holiday from work is all I can say). I purposefully didn't rush my way through Heavenly though as I wanted to savour every delicious moment of reading it and prolong my enjoyment of the book for as long as possible. I was hooked into the story immediately and I really enjoyed the way Zoe's character developed as the story unfolded. I also liked how her parents were portrayed in the book. They weren't cast as the bad parents or parents that didn't care about their children. They were genuinely struggling to hold the family together. The family was somewhat dysfunctional yes but they were painted in a sympathetic light because of their struggles with Abria. There was never ANY doubt that they loved their children and I liked that.

    One character I was not particularly fond of was Britt who is Zoe's best friend. She is shallow and selfish which soon becomes obvious to the reader. I didn't really believe in their friendship and thought that they were using each other for company, which I think is what Jennifer was aiming to portray. On the opposite side of the coin was Chase who strikes up an unlikely friendship with Zoe over a common bond. I liked the fact that Zoe had someone who actually was a loyal friend to confide in.

    One of my favourite characters was Luke, surprisingly enough. I thought that Jennifer portrayed his drug dependency in such a humane and sympathetic light that rather than judge him, I couldn't help but feel sorry for him and want to help him.

    And Matthias, what can I say about dear, sweet Matthias. Three words methinks...I. WANT. ONE. Not only is he a fantastic guardian angel but he also has the ability to influence people through emotions (but in a good way). Think Jasper from Twilight. This might sound odd but I felt a sense of calmness reading Heavenly as though Matthias were real and influencing me through Zoe.

    I think what I love most about Heavenly, besides the story, is the voice. Zoe has a mature voice, it isn't childish or superficial. I thought Heavenly was an excellent example of a YA crossover novel that appeals to both teenagers and adults alike.

    In conclusion, I would HIGHLY recommend this book and it has become one of my personal favourites. The ending will leave you desperate for more!! I'd never read anything by Jennifer Laurens before and I now find myself a huge fan of her writing and can't wait to read and review her other books.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2012


    People could relate to the problems in the book which is the reason i kept reading. I was hoping for a better ending. The ending left me feeling sad for her family

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 3, 2012


    I got Heavenly as a birthday present (Totally worth adding her on FB! She's a great author!) 2 years ago now. I still go back and re-read it.

    This is a book about coming of age, maybe not in a typical way, seeing as this book includes angels. But its sweet, slow at times, fast at others, the perfect balance. Its worth reading the others as well, this trilogy is great. Beautiful and sad, worthy of praise.

    I do hope that this helped you :)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 15, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Amazing <3

    I looked for this book online hoping it was stocked in any Barnes&Noble or Borders in the area but of course it wasn't. So I waited. Then when I needed more to read, I started reading reviews for "Heavenly" and then I found the trailer (click here to watch it) and I was sold. I immediately ordered "Heavenly" and its sequel "Penitence" online.

    I am so glad I finally ordered it. It was amazing. Such a capturing love story; one that every girl dreams of having. I mean seriously, who wouldn't want some hot, caring, 20 year old to watch over you? I WOULD, I WOULD!!! :)

    Our story starts off with Zoe. An eighteen year old senior, who has an autistic sister, pothead brother, and a drinking problem herself. Not to mention parents who give all their attention to her autistic sister Abria. After almost losing Abria one day, Zoe meets Matthias, who happens to be her sister's perfect guardian angel. Zoe starts to love having Mattias around, but it doesn't stop her from having major issues in her life. One being falling in love with an angel. But, are angels aloud to love you back?

    I loved Zoe. I can so personally relate to her. My brother used to be a lot like her brother and I can see exactly how she felt sometimes through out the book. I also loved Matthias. Oh I am team Matthias 100%. He is hot (blonde hair, crystal blue eyes...helllllo?!), caring, smart, not to mention a guardian angel! How can you not love him? I also really liked Luke.. I thought his character added a lot to the book. I didn't really care for Britt too much. Though, I think she helped Zoe learn a few lessons. And Chase is adorable, I'm curious to see his part in the upcoming books.

    This book was oh so very good. It tells you follow your heart and believe in yourself. To always look out for your family, because no matter what, they do love you. That finding that one perfect love can give you the extra push you're always looking for in life. That not all people can be trusted and you need to be careful. Along with so many other things.

    I adored this book. I have the sequel "Penitence" sitting right next to me and I can't wait to get started. I need more Matthias! haha :) Defiantly 5 stars. I would order this one if I were you!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great book

    I highly recommend this book

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Guardian Angel

    Zoe's life at home is tough. With an autistic sister in Abria, a stoner brother in Luke and stressed out parents, she is trapped in misery. Her only solution... is to party and meet boys or drown her thoughts in loud music. Zoe love and resent her younger sister. She question why God has to give her to them, she blamed and do not understand why her parents do not want to bring Abria in a specialized facility where they can better take care of her. She was just mad all the time. Yet when her sister ran away and went missing for a few minutes; she was sick with worry. Both times she saw this stranger who found Abria. She was deeply suspicious of him, he was a stranger after all, but everything he comes near her, there is warmth, kindness and understanding. And then he told her that she is Abria's guardian angel.

    I thought there it is, Zoe has lost her mind. With all the stress she had, her psyche has finally given up on her. She is hallucinating. But as I read on, there is really a supernatural essence in this book. Soon after meeting Matthias, Zoe begun to change; for the better. But there are consequences. I love how Ms. Laurens wrote the hardships of having an autistic member in a the family and how the family members dealt with so much pain. Not only it shows how truly special special needs kids are but it also showed me another perfect example of patience and unconditional love. The ending was really good, surprising actually, I think I found my next favorite series.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Loved it.

    Very great read.. actually made me tear up at the end! ha reading the second book right now.. stoked!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 14, 2011

    Highly Recommended!

    Yes, I'm going with a cheesy phrase of HEAVENLY was absolutely heavenly. This book started off sad. I felt sorry for the main character Zoe and her brother Luke having to give so much of their life up to help take care of their autistic little sister Abria. The weight the family felt trying to keep up and how easily it was for Zoe and Luke to get caught up in teen issues to try and numb reality was heavy. They felt forgotten and overshadowed by Abria.

    Then along comes Matthias. He is Abria's guardian sent to keep her safe. Here begins a love story of redemption and lives mending. The direct and indirect influence of Matthias's presence, what he represents, and learning of consequences for the characters all weaves a wonderful tale. I invested in each of the characters, even the minor characters that just make you want to smack them and say, "Wake up!" The writing style of Laurens flows from one event to the next, the character growth of Zoe, Luke, and Matthias feels natural.

    This book is not a typical angel book. I repeat, this is not a typical angel book. In fact, I'm not even sure Matthias is what would be called an angel in Biblical terms. There are no discussions of wings but paranormal abilities he does have. Matthias is unassuming yet larger than life. The way Laurens writes his character is sheer bliss. She manages to create a hot guy without all the lusty innuendos. He has manners, he has grace, he has everything a perfect male love interest should have. Except he isn't "alive." I appreciated how Laurens wove his mortal history into his story, letting the reader know he was not Mr. Perfect in life. The theme of 'all mortals are imperfect and must learn their own lessons in life through success and mistakes' is one of the best parts of this book.

    I highly recommend HEAVENLY by Jennifer Laurens. Since she leaves the reader with one heck of a cliffhanger, I am pleased to have the next two books in the series, PENITENCE and ABSOLUTION, physically with me and ready to read.

    *This book was received by author in exchange for an honest review*

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Touching and Moving

    Zoe is falling. She lives the life of a walking corpse. On the outside, she looks just like any normal teenager, but on the inside, she feels empty. Abandoned. Her sister Abria is an Autistic child who has speaking disorders and the attention level of 5 seconds. Her brother Luke is drowning himself in drugs. To run away from the harsh realities, she parties and searches for casual relationships.

    But everything changes when she meets the mysterious Matthias, who, according to himself, is a guardian sent to look after Abria. She feels happy, joyful and loved for the first time since Abria's Autism diagnosis. However, she seems to be the only person who can see Matthias. It does not take too long for her to realize that she is in love with him. Or is it?

    I did not know what to expect before started reading Heavenly. But it turned out to be quite good as I could totally relate to Zoe's mental condition, behaviour and thoughts. I did not see her as an undignified teen, but rather a poor girl who was suffering from stress and hungered for the attention and care of her parents. After observing the difficulties faced by the family to take care of little Abria in turns, even though I knew deep down that what Zoe and Luke did was wrong, I couldn't help sympathizing them. It's not entirely their fault to crumble when they had to shoulder such huge responsibilities. But still, according to the social norms of the society, they were not entirely blameless either.

    The presence of Matthias really lighted up the whole story. Zoe's tainted soul now yearned for forgiveness and goodness. She started to change, little by little, towards the better. And little Abria seemed to be still and quiet like a normal little girl when Matthias is present. Zoe started to learn about love, compassion and forgiveness. She saw through Luke's current self, only to discover the lost, helpless little boy within. It was a great experience to read about a family that holds on to each other in many ways, in which love reigns over all other things.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Definite read for fans of angel reads!

    It took me a few pages to actually get into Heavenly, but once I was snagged - I was there for the rest of the book. Heavenly was a great read with real-life issues packed into the story to make it relatable to anyone that may pick up this book.

    I think the best part for me was the characters. They were flawed and sometimes made the worst decisions ever, but their actions and solutions were all very realistic. I loved Zoe and could definitely relate to her. I don't know if I agreed with every decision she made, but I know why she made the decisions that she did. I wasn't too fond of her overall obsessive thoughts of Matthias that constantly flooded the pages. HOWEVER, she is a teenager and teens typically are very dramatic over their first loves. I've been through it, so I know. Plus, her keeping Matthias on her mind at all times helped her make better life choices, and that's something to be grateful for. Matthias . oh, how I love thee! It's nice to see an angel that can love, yet not completely abandon his duties and responsibilities for that love. As far as Britt and the guys, I think we've all known people like that in our lives before. I think I was the most empathetic toward Luke and his addiction. Actually, I feel for their whole family - dealing with a disability is never really an easy thing, but I think at the end there was a good compromise and hopefully the family has completely pulled together.

    Speaking of the end: It's so bittersweet! I don't want to give anything away, but the entire last couple of chapters was nothing but an endless roller coaster ride of emotions for me. It's not a bad thing, and there's always the sweet happily ever after ending that's not completely happy - but it's the best ending for this book, I think.

    I think the beginning was a little slow, but once it picked up the pace it stayed constant. Heavenly was a pretty easy read and had a wonderful premise. It's definitely on my list of great reads.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 20, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Heavenly Written, Does That Make Sense To You?

    I've waiting for this to finally go on NookBook and I was so excited to read it! It was amazing. The details, and the characters personalities were amazing. My favorite character is Brittany because she reminds me of myself, ignore the fact that my name to is Brittany, haha. But I think she's a little to self centered but all in all her intentions are good? Heh, I'm not a big fan of Matthias. I'll grow to like him in the future? Maybe?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 18, 2010

    Lovely, Touching Book With Incredible Depth!

    Heavenly was a true delight to read! Very authentic. I would categorize Heavenly as realistic fiction with hints of the paranormal. The struggles that come with raising a child with autism is highlighted in this book. There is an incredible depth to this story, whose solid foundation comes from the fact that Laurens has a lot of personal experience with raising a child with autism. What I loved about this book was that it's more than just a paranormal romance between Zoe and Matthias, who is the guardian angel of Zoe's autistic sister Abria. There is much more substance to the book. It zooms deep into heart of the family's issues revolving around Abria's autism. The characteristics of autism, the details of what goes on inside this autistic household, the effects of autism on this family, as well as how individual family members unfortunately cope in negative ways (Zoe: partying/drinking and her brother Luke: drugs/pot), are all shown with such pure honesty and realism that you can't help but be disheartened by what is going on. Especially how non-autistic children get unintentionally overlooked, since the autistic child requires so much care and attention. This story will definitely tug at your emotions. But on a brighter side, this story shows you the inspiring resilience of the human spirit when faced with difficulties and also teaches you that there is always room for personal growth - no matter how small. The family clings to hope and faith that they can eventually mend their broken family.

    I also enjoyed the romantic aspect of the story. Aside from partying and drinking, spending time with Matthias is another escape from Zoe's stressful life at home. So to her, being with Matthias is that much more heavenly when they are together. Their relationship develops organically in a very realistic way and over time. I loved how Matthias' inner qualities - his intelligence and philosophical nature, being caring and protective - are qualities that Zoe is attracted to more than just his dreamy physical appearance, and this is the strong basis for them bonding so well. Their chemistry is easily visible. Heavenly establishes Zoe and Matthias' love, but questions such as "Can they even be together?" and "What will the consequences be?" are some things that keep your interest as you are reading the story. As expected with many paranormal romances, there are obstacles to face in Heavenly as well. Who said loving a guardian angel was easy! The ending was a complete surprise, I didn't see it coming. I am curious and excited about where the story will go from here. Honestly, there was hardly anything that I disliked about Heavenly. Heavenly is more of a slower paced book, which was fine because I was interested in what I was reading and it allowed me to really digest the information. I think what made me attached to Heavenly was the fact that I have autistic cousins, so I was able to really relate to this book. I highly recommend this book, not only to people who are dealing with autism in their family, but to others who want to learn more about it. For those who crave paranormal romances, while you may find this one to be a little more subtle and innocent, it is definitely more profound than many paranormal romances I have read, making it one to not be forgotten.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 8, 2010

    Didn't pull me in right away

    Why I Read this Book: I just recently came across Heavenly after seeing it somewhere in the book blogging community. I read the blurb and it appealed to me. I found the premise of an unattainable love with a guardian angel to be quite interesting.

    What I Liked: The author created real characters with real everyday situations, with the exception of guardian angels of course.

    Autism is not something that I am familiar with, however the author did a wonderful job shedding some light on this difficult condition. I like how Zoe was honest with her feelings in regards to Abria, her younger and autistic sister. Of course Zoe loves Abria but the reader also gets to witness the frustrations and overwhelming situations Zoe is put through time and time again. Zoe sees how stressful her younger sister can be on her parents so she tries to alleviate some of that stress by tending to Abria. None of the characters in Heavenly are perfect; in fact, each has their own demons and addictions.

    What I Didn't Like: I usually like it when a book starts off at a scene that takes place towards the end of the book and then takes the reader through the journey on how it got to that point. But in this case it didn't work for me. The first part of the first chapter felt out of place and left me confused.

    I wasn't too fond of Zoe's character. She's a good person but at times she was selfish and a hypocrite. She gave her brother, Luke, a hard time about doing pot when there she was drowning her own misery with booze. Zoe is in complete denial of being a alcoholic and sadly at the tender age of 18.

    There is still one question, and to me it's an important one, that hasn't been answered. I can't get it out of my head and won't be able to until it gets addressed. Chase, Zoe's friend from school, brings up a very good point (page 138 for those of you who have read this book already) and it goes right over Zoe's head. She wasn't asking the million dollar question. It isn't until about 30 pages later (page 172-173), that it's brought up again (this time by Matthias) and she finally asks this important question. But we don't get a clear answer from Matthias.

    Overall Impression: Heavenly didn't initially pull me in so I put the book down for a while. I came back to it to find that it still wasn't catching my attention but I was determined to finish it. The reason being all the 4 and 5 star ratings I've seen. I thought that there must be some kind of WOW factor somewhere in this book, seeing that this book got mostly glowing reviews, and I didn't want to miss out on that. The last third of the book was when things started happening but the WOW moment for me, and it was quite the WOW moment, occurred in the last 10 pages. OMG! Totally not the ending I was expecting; I didn't see that ending coming at all! It really blew me away. If only the rest of the book had affected me that way.

    All the way up to page 270, this book was a 2 Frog rating for me. Those last 10 pages redeemed itself and ultimately got it a 3 Frog rating. That said, I will most likely pick up Penitence to see where things take Zoe. I've seen the book trailer for Penitence (do NOT watch it unless you've read Heavenly because there are spoilers) and it looks like Zoe is in quite the predicament and there's also a love triangle involved.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Good, solid angel YA

    Zoe's baby sister Abria has a severe type of autism which keeps her whole family tied up in emotional knots as they try to deal with her many behavioral challenges. Zoe is into partying and guy-hunting as a means of escape from her home life, and her younger brother's small drug problem is gradually becoming a big drug problem. The whole family is sinking further into hopelessness and depression, but fortunately for Zoe, a divine intervention in the form of guardian angel Matthias comes along to protect Abria and provide surprising comfort for Zoe.

    The sub-genre of angel YA is getting to be a big movement lately, and Heavenly is one of the better examples I've read. Matthias is a straightforward non-conflicted, no-gray-areas angel, but it's easy to warm to him as a character because of how much love he shows for little 5-year-old Abria, who he rescues and calms time and time again. Abria is his assignment, but he genuinely values her and sees the purity of her soul when outside observers just see her tantrums, screams, and spastic movements. He's also very kind to Zoe, who can be a bit hard to deal with at times. Matthias falls into the perfect-type hero category, but that's not a bad thing--he's not creepy or controlling in the slightest, and his scenes are always sweet and comforting to read.

    As for Zoe, I love how much she cares for her little sister and I also love how she doesn't hide how painful and impossible it is to live with a child with such a severe disability. I admire how much she worries about her brother's pot habit, looks out for her best friend's welfare, and still loves her parents although they've become distant. But sometimes Zoe's actions feel a little hypocritical. A while after she's met Matthias, Zoe know he's out of her range, and so she goes to a party to find an easy guy and forget her troubles. Then once she's found her target for the evening, she starts to get disgusted with him, asking herself if she's just another body to him, when he's absolutely just another body to her. The reason she's rejecting him is actually because no one can compare to Matthias' goodness and awesomeness, but it doesn't seem fair that she's upset at a random hormonal boy because he's doing the exact same thing she is. Still, she's gradually learning to recognize the things in life that have true value, and she struggles to become a better person: she's a heroine who learns from her mistakes, and Heavenly has two sequels, so she has plenty of time to mature even further.

    Some final likes: I like that although Zoe feels major attraction, she doesn't immediately jump ahead and say that she's in love with Matthias. It's not insta-love, and it's based on a pretty thorough knowledge of each other, so their connection feels real. Also, early on, Matthias can't touch Zoe and it was intriguing to see a love story work out within those parameters, and the romantic conclusion was very satisfying.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 24, 2010


    Heavenly is a novel full of conflictive emotions and a lot of angst. It is also a book that shows us that not all is lost if we have faith, and that the presence of someone special in our lives can make us see light at the end of the tunnel.

    I particularly liked the subject of autism, it's an issue that is not very often discussed in YA books since the characters always tend to be "perfect" and this helps to create a very real history. Zoe and Luke, like any normal teenagers, feel that never quite fit in and it results with problems with drugs and alcohol. There are few books dealing with these sensitive issues so openly and this is something that I really liked.

    The ending is incredible and it left me speechless. It took me a while to digest it and yet i dont have really clear what's my opinion. Would I have done the same as Zoe? Would I feel the same? I couldn't tell, but it left me really shocked in a positive way.

    Overall, this book is very real despite the presence of supernatural elements, it can touch the reader very deeply and make him see life with different eyes.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Nothing but a lesson on the mormon religion

    This book is awful. I couldn't even get past page 100. It's SO slow and boring I couldn't finish another page without riping my hair out. Matthias is such a dork and shows no interest in Zoe other than getting her to stop partying and to believe in god, they can't even touch, and Zoe is a selfish little brat. This book is nothing more than a way for mormons to worm their way into your brain with a so called "love story" that is only there to get people to read it. And its a suck fest of a love story at that. Unless your a goody two shoes church goer or a mormon who reads the book of mormon for fun, you will not like this book. All it talks of is faith, and following your heart and believing, blah, blah, blah. If I wanted to read stuff like that, I would go to church and save myself the 14 bucks I lost to this "paranormal romance". It truely is terrible. Don't bother with this crap, check out my suggestions instead.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 5, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Inspiring & Heart Warming

    I have to say the synopsis leaves a lot to be desired & should not put you off reading this book. I am not going to gush as this goes far beyond gushing. I feel as if this book was written for me personally.
    Written in first person narrative from Zoe's point of view. She is the oldest of 3 children, 17 years old, dealing with the traumatic diagnosis that her adorable little sister, Abria, age 5, has severe autism.
    The book shows the effect on the entire family having to cope with this disability. It is written with insight as the author, Jennifer Laurens, has an autistic child. I was able to relate completely as my oldest child has dyspraxia, although her physical skills are significantly improved to when she was diagnosed, the emotional aspect is a constant challenge and on occasion still hard to deal with. As in the book, Abria is the person the family revolves around, so it is in my house with the oldest having the main focus of attention. It is not something that is intentional that is just how it happens. The story deals with how the family cope with the added stress of having an impaired child in their lives. Zoe turns to alcohol while her brother, Luke, turns to drugs. The feeling of turning to any thing that will block out the reality of their stressful lives is something I can relate to. However, the story goes on to show how these methods are just means of avoiding the problem & they generally add more problems than they solve. The best way to deal with problems is head on & with open honesty to the other people involved. it also brought to mind the therapies & developmental skills mentioned in Beautiful Dead: Arizona whose brother was also autistic.
    Amazing use of the white space within the narrative adding impact & intensity to the storyline.
    Although the theme of the books refers to God, Heaven & Angels, it is of a non-denominational nature, therefore open to your own interpretation/beliefs. Being of a non-overtly religious nature myself, I found the ideals within the story easy to relate to. The idea of a life after death brings great comfort to anyone that has lost someone close to them.
    The thought that each of us has a Guardian Angel trying to guide us and keep us safe is reassuring, although the idea that they are responsible for keeping us safe when we purposefully expose ourselves to danger/evil is quickly and powerfully dispelled within the narrative. The adage 'you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink' comes to mind. The emphasis that Angels cannot enter a place that contains evil is powerful & we as people are responsible for the decision to enter the nefarious circles is thought provoking. The imagery used to describe evil spirits was chilling, giving me goose-bumps. The addition of alcohol/drugs lower your inhibitions, therefore making it easier for evil spirits to take over gave me shivers.
    Instead of making the Guardian Angel into a virtuous, moral, pure, spotless person, Matthias has his own past to contemplate & in some aspects repent for. Making him human and easy to relate to. The use of 'cool' or 'slang' words from the modern era side by side with those of the 1920's was rather amusing but added depth to the storyline.
    This book invoked such powerful emotions within me that I just did not want to let it go. The ending was bitter-sweet but gripping.
    This is one book that I would recommend the entire world to read. It is the whole shabang ;)

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 23, 2010

    Beautiful Story!

    This is one of the best books I've read in a long time! Zoe is a popular teen at school but her home life isn't something she likes to talk about much. Her teenage brother, Luke, does drugs and her little sister, Abria, is autistic. Zoe and her family struggle to watch over and keep Abria safe on a daily basis. Zoe deals with the stress and pressure of family life by drinking and hooking up with guys.

    Zoe's life starts to change the day she loses Abria at a park then finds her sister safe, holding the hand of a young man, who unbeknownst to Zoe is her sister's guardian angel. Matthias radiates peace, understanding and unconditional love toward Zoe, and as time goes by, she finds hope and starts to turn her life around.

    "Heavenly" takes the reader on a roller coaster ride of emotions and is beautifully written. Be sure to keep a box of Kleenex on hand; by the ending I was in tears. Jennifer Laurens is an extremely talented author and I highly recommend this book to teens and adults alike who yearn to read a touching, uplifting story about family, about second chances and about love.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 55 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)